May 29th, 2009
04:20 PM ET
14 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans OK with more government influence in return for lower health care costs

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sixty-three percent of respondents to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey say they would favor more government influence in health care in return for lower costs."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that most Americans are receptive to having more government influence over their health care in return for lower costs and more coverage.

Sixty-three percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Friday said they would favor an increase in the federal government's influence over their own health-care plans in an attempt to lower costs and provide coverage to more Americans; 36 percent were opposed.

The poll also suggests that slightly more than six out of 10 think the government should guarantee health care for all Americans, with 38 percent opposed.

But Americans appear to be split over raising taxes to increase coverage. Forty-seven percent of those questioned support raising taxes in order to provide health insurance to all Americans. An equal amount back the idea of keeping taxes at current levels but not providing health insurance for all Americans.

"Will the health-care debate be different this time," asked CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider. "It does look like public sentiment has shifted. But government does not seem to be the bugaboo it was 15 years ago, when a major push by the Clinton administration to reform and expand health care failed."

The poll indicates a partisan split. Democrats overwhelmingly support increased government influence over their health-care coverage in return for lower costs and great coverage for more Americans. Six out of 10 independents feel the same way, but only one in four Republicans agree.

"Opposition to President Barack Obama's health-care plan is ideological. It comes from Republicans and Conservatives. You are not hearing a lot of opposition right now from the business community and the health-care industry," Schneider said.

The poll's release comes three days before Congress returns from a one-week break. Health-care reform will be near the top of the agenda for lawmakers as they head back to Capitol Hill. The poll's release also comes one day after Obama urged supporters to turn up the pressure on lawmakers regarding health-care reform, telling them that "if we don't get it done this year, we're not going to get it done."

Health-care reform didn't go very far under President Bill Clinton. The current president thinks things will be different this time.

"Something else is different this time," Schneider said. "A lot of businesses and insurance companies are working with the Obama administration on health-care reform. They don't want to pay the costs any more."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted May 14-17, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Chi Town

    If you like no new medicine, or new treatments, paying 20% of the cost, being limited on visits, long waits and waiting lists for anything specialized, no coverage for elderly (age limits on procedures), paying 10K per year per person for it, (don't forget the 20% sup insurance you will need anyway to cover your co-pay)… warehouse hospitals with 40 to a room and one janitor…. then hey… national healthcare is for you.

    If you have a job… it's no cheaper… just far less quality

    May 29, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Me personally working in the healthcare field, I feel that not only is the patient getting stiffed, but also the provider. An example of what I mean is for the past 3 years I've monitored Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield reduce their reimbursement to the provider and at the same time increase patient liability whether it be in their deductibles or copayments. Anthem BCBS is not the only culprit of this, but all insurance companies are. The system is seriously flawed and needs a complete overhaul.

    May 29, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. SLM

    I agree with Lower health care costs and availability for everyone. But I do not think the government should provide free coverage for anyone. We buy auto insurance for our cars, we should buy Health coverage for our bodies. The Government should only regulate insurance costs and keep insurance companies from canceling coverage. Everyone should pay the same price, even the rich, even the poor. Everyone needs to take responsibility for themselves, it is not up to the Government to take care of you. But Please do not socialize medicine and destroy the quality of care. Obama needs to be very careful how he handles this.

    May 29, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. What A Shame

    This country doesn't even understand responsibility anymore. The generations before us would be ashamed.

    May 29, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. And Phoenix86…I really can't believe how genuinely stupid your comment was.

    seriously, health care costs are insane and they are completely incapable of regulating the costs themselves

    whether they complain or not, absolutely, government intervention is needed

    those who cry socialism must have an incredible health care plan

    we have a health care plan, a good one, but costs are off the chart

    when we had our kids costs of 26,000$ was not unusual from the hospital for the birth (and that was one bill – they are "contractors" and each bills separately: doctor bill, hospital bill, anasthesiaologist bill etc)

    completely wrong and insane

    May 29, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Brian in AZ

    Sure would be NICE is CNN linked their raw poll data here to us here, instead of giving us bite sized morsels of reporting (just big enough for us to choke on).

    And 63% agree with increased gov't influence because that may be (I can only assume since CNN HASN'T posted the exact wording of the question or the actual data) because some are confusing the idea of policing against predatory healthcare practices with proactive price controls. Everyone wants a policeman. Nobody likes it when he becomes a taskmaster.

    It may also be an indication that 63% of the population is very blind to the most basic economic principles. Perhaps this demographic spells "gov't sustained low costs" with the letters "p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e".

    It's been tried. Again and again, political expediency has prompted the shortsighted and/or the power hungry to engage is such single payer the suffering of all in the long run.

    May 29, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Jason

    They didn't poll me. I do not trust the U.S. government to run health care any more efficiently than the current system.

    May 29, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Kris Derentz

    I work in the Medical Field and everyone is worried about this National Healthcare. Its going to pay docs less money there for they will need to make up the lost revenue in adding more patients, less quality equipment, and cut backs on everything else. Its a nightmare. America needs to get INFORMED!

    May 29, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Chas in Iowa

    I guess it really depends,......right now the insurance companies are the ones running healthcare. Approving a doctors orders or not.

    If the government gets more involved in health care will the medical decisions be made by our doctors instead of insurance companies?

    May 29, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. To: Chi Town

    scare tactic

    you must work for the health industry

    I have had health care in "socialized health care" systems in different countries and it is nothing like what you are writing

    who are you writing for... who pays you to spread these talking points

    May 29, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. phoenix86

    What is the cost of no elective coverage? What is the cost of a Washington burearocrat determining what treatment you get? What is the cost of age profiling to determine treatment?

    That is the cost of Obamacare.

    May 29, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. patriot

    No surprise about these findings. Straight private-sector healthcare has failed Americans for over 30 years. Government "interference" in the health care sector seems likme a reasonable way to go. It's not either/or. The devil is in the details.

    May 29, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Shibumi

    Another CNN push poll.............................

    May 29, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. fed up

    With the government's proven track record of inefficiency, wasteful spending, lax controls, and layers upon layers of useless bureaucracy, why would anyone want to put government in charge of their health care?

    May 29, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. Steve (the real one)

    Be careful what you wish for people! Ask the Canadians and British if nationalized Health care is worth it! You are looking at the carrot and not that giant stick behind it!

    May 29, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. Polar Bears Against Palen

    Looks like Boss Limbaugh and the right-wing lunatic fringe is on the wrong side again. Hey! I know you conservatives love money and insurance compaines. But, the jig is up. Time to get tossed off the gravy train. The ride is over. A change is gonna come.


    May 29, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. conniesz

    Actually, $10K/year would be cheaper. I first want to see employer provided health care taxed as income – that's where we need to start this discussion. People need to be aware of how much it actually costs. If you get employer provided health care it is part of your salary package and needs to be acknowledged as such. Once that is done we will see a LOT more support for lowering health care costs.

    May 29, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Chi Town

    "Democrats overwhelmingly support increased government influence over their health-care coverage in return for lower costs and great coverage for more Americans. Six out of 10 independents feel the same way, but only one in four Republicans agree. "

    Of course Dems love the idea... they aren't paying for it...

    PS: Love how they said GREAT coverage... cause it will be anything but that. Live in England... get sick... you will see what I'm saying

    May 29, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    FOOLS!! Just wait until they and their loved ones are waiting two and three years for a bypass.

    May 29, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    I'm DEFINITELY ok with more government involvement in my life to lower health care costs! You can always throw a governing political party out of office if they step over the line. But it's far tougher to throw out an entire corrupt and profiteering industry once they get too big for anybody's good. Once health care is cleaned up, I hope the government will step in and clean up the piggish pharmaceutical industry! A little industry housecleaning is LONG overdue! Corporate America has been raping us for years!

    May 29, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. phoenix86

    Chi Town, just shut-up, will you?

    May 29, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Julie

    What people don't realize is that we already have a form of socialize medicine. Any person that goes to a hospital's ER must be treated and not turned away due to lack of insurance or inability to pay. What the problem is, is that there is no guaranteed "payor" for their treatment. I work in a hospital and we must give care regardless of patient finances but I'll tell you, I don't work for free and some one or some program needs to pay these bills or risk closures of more medical facilities. In the first quarter this year alone my hospital was over $3.6 million in the red and we are a large non-profit regional facility. Our closure would be devasting to the surrounding communities.

    May 29, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. J.D.

    And do Americans think that gov't control of health care with actually RESULT in lower costs?

    I think that's the next question CNN should ask.

    Also, Americans should be asked whether they mind waiting 3 years to see a dentist as the Brits do under their gov't run health care.

    May 29, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  24. Kevin B.

    It is good to know that the majority of americans can see that the current health care delivery system is set to benefit private and public insurance companies and not everyday americans.

    For all of the fear and hype about socialized medicine, look at what the current system has wrought. You already have corporate beauracrats making life and death decisions based on if it makes them more profitable or MD's denying diagnostic testing to save the HMO's money.

    This time a sensible approach to healthcare is in the offing and the corporate ran republicans can not stop it. It is great day for americans.

    May 29, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. The Party of NO is only “pro-life” so they will be able to kill the “babies” 18 years later as soldiers in an elective religious war.

    63% of Americans approve of "socialism" as instigated by the main "socialist" himself, President Obama.

    If we are going down the road to "socialism" then almost two thirds of Americans agree we took the right road!

    Looks, like that takes all the wind out of the limbaugh lemmings "white noise" rants!

    May 29, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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